By GARY POPP
CLARK COUNTY —
An 18-year-old Charlestown man was arrested Saturday after having sex with a 13-year-old girl he met on a website, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The arrest was made after a deputy conducted a traffic stop on Spring Street in Jeffersonville about 10 p.m. and found Andrew Tague, 11922 Ind. 62, and the child, of Clark County, in the vehicle.
Tague has been preliminarily charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, a class C felony, but he has not been officially charged.
The man remained incarcerated at the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex under a $50,000 full-cash bond as of Tuesday afternoon, according to jail officials.
Clark County Sheriff’s Detective Chris Proctor said the officer who conducted the traffic stop was told by Tague and the girl that they previously had sex at a motel.
It was determined the two were on their second face-to-face meeting Saturday, but had only engaged in intercourse once, Proctor said.
The girl initially told the officer she was 15 years old, but later admitted to being two years younger.
Proctor said the child had told Tague the same lie, and that he had believed the girl to be 15 years old.
Sexual misconduct occurs when a person at least 18 years old has sex with a person who is 14 to 15 years old, Proctor explained, adding that the more severe crime of child molestation takes place when a person at least 18 years old has sex with a person who is under the age of 14.
Proctor said Tague was preliminarily charged with the lesser charge as he was under the impression the child was 15 years old.
He also said the Office of the Clark County Prosecutor could interpret the alleged crime differently than the preliminary charge and charge accordingly.
After speaking with the child’s parents, Proctor said, they believed the girl was staying with a friend at the time she was with Tague.
Proctor said Tague and the child met on meetme.com, which he called an “off-brand of Facebook.”
According the website’s company overview, “Every day, we help millions of people around the world make new friends whether on the web or their mobile phones. We are committed to our mission – to build the leading social network for meeting new people.”
Tague appeared for an advisement of rights hearing in Clark County Circuit Court Monday, and his initial hearing is expected to take place today.
If found guilty of the class C felony, Tague could be sentenced up to eight years in state prison.